Will mobile phones replace the card?
More people leave their wallet at home, than their phone. In the past, this may have caused the shopper some difficulty as they search their pockets at a checkout. This situation is set to change with the introduction of NFC contactless technology coupled with your mobile phone. The exact form factor is evolving from bank issued stickers attached to any item, NFC enabled SIM cards, to contactless enabled handsets. The timelines for mass adoption are still unclear, but we are firmly on the journey!
Security is always a question that gets raised when I discuss contactless with friends and family – and rightfully so! With the contactless card, I explain that every so often, the user will be asked to insert their card and enter their PIN to verify that the user does in fact have the credential to spend the money. Both the transaction limit and the frequency of PIN validation is a carful trade off between convenience and risk.
So, next time I leave my wallet at home, I can still use my contactless enabled phone – but only in the understanding that I may get asked to insert my card – at which point I would sheepishly apologise and put my item down, mourning the wasted time spent in the queue!
I think contactless is a great idea from both a solution provider and a consumer viewpoint, and looking at the behavioural impact, the idea of getting my phone instead of fiddling around with cards appeals to me. It is a neat solution, but I am still unsure about the idea of replacing the wallet with a sticker or enabled phone until it can whole-heartedly replace the card. This is coming, but there are still a few hurdles to overcome, and until then, I will try to remember my wallet, watch and mobile phone on every outing!
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